Letters to an Asexual #45 (“you’re too stubborn or too intellectual to want sex!”)

Letters to an Asexual #45 (“you’re too stubborn or too intellectual to want sex!”)


Hey guys, swankivy here again with another
Letters to an Asexual. This is Number 45. And I’m gonna read a relatively old one and
also a relatively short one for you today. And it actually touches on something that
I haven’t really quite covered in Letters to an Asexual. I’m sure that I’ve covered it in essays and
rambles elsewhere, but um, so, for number 45 I’m gonna talk about the concept of, um,
reverse psychology. I got a letter that, in part, told me that
they think maybe I’m subscribing to an asexual lifestyle just because so many people tried
to change my mind and now I feel like I have to be committed to it, and I have to do, um,
the opposite of whatever everyone else expects me to do out of reverse psychology. So let me go ‘head and start reading the conversation
to ya. Um, so this was after I had posted, um, I
guess all of the videos in my original asexuality Top Ten, where I had outlined the top ten
most common objections people give me about asexuality, and this is, you know, predating
my whole Letters to an Asexual series. So, I mean, this is a good while back but,
um, it was a response, I think, though, um, the comments or maybe a private message from
those. So this person was, you know, not entirely
ignorant about it, and seemed relatively respectful, but again, had their own theory about how
things have, uh, worked out. Uh, so, this is what they had to say. “First I want to say ‘Very Interesting.’ I am sad for you, but I do not feel sorry
for you. I think it is too bad you cannot enjoy this
part of being human. I hope it changes for you, I understand you’re
content in your life, but sex is a nice part of the experience. I have a couple of comments and questions,
I hope I do not offend you, it is not at all my objective. You appear to be a VERY intelligent lady. I wonder if your lack of interest has anything
to do with the fact that soooo many people tell you that something must be wrong with
you. What I’m trying to say is, you know it is
human nature to not like to be told what to do. So If I say you’re crazy for not wanting to
have sex, then your reaction is to dig your heels in. Also I wonder if your intelligence is over
powering your animal instincts. Like I said above you come across as out of
the norm a smart person, I guess a well above average IQ. I can think of no better analogy. And as I’m sure you know, the most powerful
sexual organ in the human body in the mind. We must let our animal come out. I know that I have issues that make me uncomfortable
in a sexual situation until I am very comfortable. I have a very hard time just turning my brain
off and, pardon the expression, ‘getting busy.’ I over think and unable to have a good time,
sex is very frustrating and disheartening. I know my issue comes from my ex-wife and
her making me feel bad about sex. OK one more question I saw in the top 10 that
you have had sex, and you did touch on masturbation, have you ever experienced an orgasm? This is a very personal question and I understand
if this is none of my business. And do you enjoy sensational touch, like a
good massage, I know that these are not completely related, but if you enjoy a good massage,
I personally find it interesting that you would not be interested in other types of
sensational touch. Again I want to say I really hope I’m not
being nosy, or demeaning in this email, I just wanted to add my comments. I wish you all the luck in the world, even
if you do not ever find your exoticism.” My response: “Hi there, thanks for watching
my videos and writing to me. Quote: ‘I am sad for you, but I do not feel
sorry for you. I think it’s too bad you cannot enjoy this
part of being human.’ I guess you can feel sad for me in the same
way I can feel sad for everyone who’s never written a novel. To each his own. Quote: ‘I hope it changes for you, I understand
you are content in your life, but sex is a nice part of the experience.’ I think of it more like scratching an itch. It’s not gonna be satisfying to scratch your
arm if you aren’t itching. Satisfying the urge to scratch is part of
what makes scratching great. There isn’t a way for me to deliberately seek
out a mosquito to bite me. It just doesn’t work that way. You can try to get things you want, but you
can’t make yourself want them. In other words, ‘sex is a nice part of the
experience’ only if you want it in the first place. If you don’t, it’s not the same thing.” Um, and I will interject here outside of the
letter that I have heard from some people who said, you know, “I didn’t really care
for it but I enjoy engaging in that with a significant other,” and you know, that’s legit,
if you enjoy some aspect of it that isn’t really about your own personal pleasure or
maybe you found some kind of personal pleasure that you didn’t crave in the first place but
found it was great when you decided to go for it, I mean, that’s a thing. But it’s also equally valid to feel that it’s
just not something that seems like, um, it would be valuable to you, like, I don’t want
a relationship, I don’t want that kind of closeness with another person, um, I’ve never
developed a situation where another person is appealing like that to me, and thinking
about the realistic possibility of doing that with them, um, sort of leans away from neutral
and into negative for me. I just don’t feel good about it. It doesn’t seem appealing at all. Um, so, you know, you have–it’s a very personal
decision if you wanna make that part of your life. It’s not just something that you have to want
before you get it, I understand that, but um, you know, that’s still a pretty good analogy,
if you wanna say, um, that scratching an itch is very different from just scratching when
you don’t have an itch. “Quote: ‘I hope I do not offend you, it is
not at all my objective. You appear to be a VERY intelligent lady.’ In general it doesn’t offend me if people
want to ask questions. As long as they’re polite about it.” And I’ll interject here again, um, it really
kinda bothers me that this person keeps harping on me being “intelligent,” like, as if if
I wasn’t particularly smart or something, then the situation would be different, and
that it would be more allowable for people to tell me what I should want and try to steamroll
my will or something like that. It almost feels condescending. I–I feel like maybe the person didn’t intend
that, but the fact that they kept reassuring me that yes, I mean, you’re intelligent, you’re
smart, I get it, I get it, you, you’ve probably reasoned this all out, BUT, listen to what
I have to say. You know, it’s like they thought if they didn’t
reassure me that I’m smart, that I would counter with this counter-psychology kind of thing
that they seem to think is going on, and it’s like, whether I’m smart is irrelevant to this,
so anyway. Moving on. “Quote: ‘I wonder if you lack of interest
has anything to do with the fact that soooo many people tell you that something must be
wrong with you,’ blah blah blah, ‘you dig your heels in.’ Ah, ‘you just want to be different.’ While I respect the power of reverse psychology
(and minored in psych myself incidentally), no, I can say with some certainty that that’s
not going on with me. I’m a very open-minded person, but I’m also
in touch with myself and I can tell you what I like and don’t like, and exactly why. If people I trust say something is great,
my first inclination is to believe them. I’m not one of those people who just rebels
against anything that’s popular or well-liked. It doesn’t make sense, and in fact I tend
to get even more irritated at people who do that than I do at people who follow all the
trends, because the ‘counterculture’ folks sometimes seem to think they’re on a higher
level and really enjoy lording that over others. I don’t understand it. And I don’t see what purpose there would be
for me to do something in response to or in spite of what other people want. It’s my life, after all.” And quoting, “I also wonder if you intelligence
is overpowering your animal instincts, we must let our animal come out.” And I say, “I suppose I’m not a particularly
impulsive person, but I think I’d know it if I felt sexual attraction toward someone. It’s not that I’m repressing something. It’s not that I’m logic-ing my way out of
lusting. I just plain don’t experience that reaction
when I like someone. I’m not shy or repressed about really anything,
so I think just randomly assuming my sex drive must be smothered by my brain would be a big
leap to make.” Quote: “OK one more question I saw in the
top 10 that you have had sex, and you did touch on masturbation, have you ever experienced
an orgasm?” My response: “I’m confused. I never said anything anywhere about having
had sex. I have not had sex. I believe I was very specific about that. I don’t know where you got the idea that I’ve
had sex. (It’d be nice if you enlightened me, please.) Masturbation isn’t something I’ve cared to
do much of. It’s not compelling. Some asexual people still have a sex drive
and like to do quite a lot of this, but it’s just not my thing. I COULD have an orgasm–my equipment works,
if that’s what you’re asking–but nothing about it is attached to other people being
attractive to me, and nothing makes me crave it.” And then quoting “Do you enjoy sensational
touch,” blah blah blah, do I like massages. And I said, “As long as the person giving
me the massage isn’t doing it to be gross (and that HAS happened to me), I do like massages
and back scratches and stuff. The person doing it has to be good at it and
has to be gentle, though. I’m pretty fragile and kinda bony, so I’m
easy to hurt, and too many people seem to think ‘massage’ means ‘try to break her back.’ I tend to get a little uncomfortable if the
person gets too close to me and ends up breathing on me or something. I don’t like other people breathing on me.” And quoting, “I wish you all the luck in the
world, even if you do not ever find your exoticism.” And I said, “I think I might need your help
with understanding the usage of ‘exoticism’ in this sentence. Hope I’ve answered your questions in a satisfactory
way!” So that wraps that up. Um, it’s not the only time I’ve ever had somebody
suggest that it’s all about intellectualism and my logic overpowering my animal instincts,
so to speak, but um, this is a relatively rare one. Um, but uh, at the same time, it tends to
go hand in hand with if you’re at all, like, intellectual or you write a lotta crap online
like I do, people will interpret that as evidence that you’re very cerebral, and that that goes
hand in hand with not being in touch with your body for some reason. And you know, I’ll agree that I’m pretty cerebral,
I mean, sometimes to my detriment, I guess. I live in my head more than in the outside
world, it’s true, you know, and I don’t consider that to be shameful or a fault of mine, it’s
just, I guess, um, I’m a little more introverted, a little more inwardly directed than most
people, so I think about, um, my inner world, I guess, more than um, maybe most people do. Um, I guess I can’t be sure of that, but um,
you would think that for a person who spends as much time in their head as I do, that I
would notice if there was any spark of interest of this sort. And people like me are also usually very curious,
like, we’re–we’re a curious lot. And um, I wouldn’t say that it necessarily
goes hand in hand with, uh, seeking novel experiences but there is at least usually
an intellectual curiosity that goes with being an intellectual or cerebral person, which,
you know, I’m–I’m not saying that with any value judgment on it. I’m not saying it as, um, like a way to, uh,
put myself above anyone, but you know, there are some people who are, they focus a lot
on, uh, analysis and whatnot, and I am definitely one of those people, so um, but yeah, we tend
to be curious. We tend to be very interested in carrying
out experiments in our lives, and finding an objective answer, and um, in my case, um,
that has been true in other aspects of my life, but this is not something that I’ve
ever been curious about because, um, of how sure I am that I feel the way that I do. And how you experience attraction is quite
variable between people and very individual. So it tends to be an incredibly subjective
experience, and I don’t value “objective” over that in the world of analyzing sexual
behavior or sexual attraction. I don’t need anyone to prove that they feel
the way they do or that they’ve experimented to anyone’s satisfaction before I will default
to respecting whatever they wanna be called or however they wanna be seen, so I really
wish that people would not write me emails like this, even though it was relatively respectful,
um, because there were several places in there where the person said stuff like “we have
to let our animal out” or “I wish that you would change.” And to what benefit, uh, would those changes
be? That’s what I wanna know. Why–what is it to you? What is it to anyone that I change this. Um, they seem to think that I’m lacking something
that if I was not lacking, that my life would be enriched, but I really wonder whether they
ever think about how my life is, uh, diminished by how much time and attention I have to put
into, uh, having my personal convictions and my personal interests questioned every time
I talk about what my experiences are. Um, so, whenever anybody comes at me with
these kinds of questions, uh, with a clear agenda that they want me to change, they wish
I would change, they think I’m not having the “full human experience” if I don’t, I
question that, because I don’t really think it’s about me. It’s about them thinking they know what “the”
objective human experience is and what it should include to be considered full and satisfying. And they perceive that I’m missing a part
of it that if I would consent to include it in my life, my life would be enriched, but
uh, they really need to mind their own business. So, that’s where I’m gonna end this and thanks
for watching.

13 thoughts on “Letters to an Asexual #45 (“you’re too stubborn or too intellectual to want sex!”)

  1. OH my god am I first?! Id like to thank the academy and swankivy for giving me this opportunity. ( I'll respond with a real comment later xD)

  2. I can understand why people ask these questions and make these comments about asexuality, simply because sexual attraction is such a core element to their lives. But they have no idea the damage they cause to aces by defending the idea that, to live a human experience you need sexual attraction and sex. We are normal people who have self doubt, who have issues with confidence , who feel left out when people go on about experiences they have had. They shake off our retorts as if they are meaningless, as if what they are saying is clearly correct because they can't imagine living a life without said experiences . And, after having 99% of the population tell you that your wrong so often , you start to believe it as well.
    There is a difference between learning and just refusing to listen while spreading lies about us . And, we are not all as confident as you are :p so it hurts after a while . Logic gets muted by the desire to belong within the herd.

    I'm often conflicted with the logical desire to allow people to ask these questions and have these vocal doubts to me for learning purposes , with my emotional desire to just have an environment not spread with external doubt. You have to be very secure to do it .
    Little off topic , but just wanted to rant a bit ;p since it was one what related to the doubts about aces he was bringing up.

  3. +swankiVY The asker hit one of my nerves here. Normal? I'm an off-the-paper flyer! A quasiromantic quasisexual who is completely unable to make hook-ups. At once a Spectrumite and an ACoDF who finds fault with things all the time and is constantly thinking about, among other matters of equipment, what a million-mile truck should have that no one vehicle packs as manufactured. An ultra-instinctual musician with ideas about instrument must-haves that, at least for the organ, border on an intersection of the esoteric and the ultralegalistic.

  4. I have gotten so sick of this accusation.
    The human mind is not entirely social.
    We think alone, even in a crowd we are never not alone with our thoughts.
    In my opinion, most people are insufficiently introspective, and that is exactly what stagnates culture.
    I bloody hate the whole, 'cuck,' thing that has started lately online.
    It is overtly anti-asexual.

  5. I have also gotten the "I'm sad for you" comment before (almost verbatim, actually). It's pretty exasperating. My response was, "Well, you shouldn't be, because I'm very happy with who I am." I'm also amazed at how people assume it's appropriate to ask questions about your sex life/masturbation habits when they find out you're asexual.

  6. By that nutters logic anyone who does anything out of the norm is only doing it to be contrary.

    From the sound of it he wasn't trying to be respectful, respectful people don't make such weird psychoanalyzing comments about other peoples lives, and don't try to control what strangers do with their sexual organs. Saying "You don't know yourself, I know you better" is probably one of the most disrespectful things that a person could possibly say. Especially with the implication that you need to be "fixed". He was pretending to be respectful, but his content was rude, and his tone was condescending.

    This guy is just controlling, and normative. The idea of someone existing outside the norm must be abhorrent to him, as he felt the need to personally dismiss your feelings and identity, and try to gaslight you. He's saying "I know you're happy, but I think you shouldn't be".

  7. +swankivy What about this one?: "You're too beautiful to be asexual". Personally, I think beauty doesn't have anything to do with any sexual orientation and it is somehow superficial to think about that. I would like you to make a video about it.

  8. Have you seen the new Bill Nye show and episodes?
    The one on gender and sexuality is causing a stir.

  9. You know how when you scratch a lot and it makes you even more itchy? Maybe that's the solution. You should just keep scratching until you get itchy – metaphorically. Then, scratching will be great.

  10. You should make a video for the purposes of your audience using it to come out to other people. I know amilia ace did one. But I think you should make one to 😀

  11. I was just reading an article about a new sex-ed program. The articles says, "It's built on the belief that sexuality isn't separate from the rest of who we are. 'We approach sex ed as on core component of the whole person.'" See! The sex education experts say that you're missing a core part of who you are. You are incomplete without it.

  12. "Finding your exoticism" — my gods, either the man who wrote this letter doesn't know what the word means, or he believes that people who aren't straight/gay/bi must have some bizarre sexual fetish that turns them on instead. (Ewwww!) Because he also confuses "sensational" with "sensory/sensuous", I'm guessing that the writer didn't pay much attention in English class.

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